A new University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences study links depression in teenagers to the amount of time they spend on the Internet and playing video games.
UAMS psychiatrists found that youth who spend five or more hours per day online or playing video games are at a higher risk of depression and suicidal thoughts than teens who play fewer hours.
"We need to do a better job of understanding how the Internet and video games, whether violent or not, affect young people. For many, the Internet and video games are the only form of social interaction they have; they are their primary source of communication," says Erick Messias, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, and lead researcher of the study. "We fully don't understand the conswquences of this kind of stimulation, but we hope this work will lead to improving the screening process in adolescents."